Senators are mourning their Kwale colleague Boy Juma Boy, who died on Sunday after a short illness, describing him as a charismatic leader who will be greatly missed.
Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro described Mr Boy’s death as a great loss to the Senate and the entire Parliament, people of Kwale and the whole country.
“The dark hand of death has robbed us again of a dear colleague and a patriot,” Mr Ethuro said.
Mr Boy is the third serving senator to die.
Mutula Kilonzo (Makueni) and Otieno Kajwang’ (Homa Bay) died in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
The Speaker remembered Mr Boy as a bipartisan leader on matters of national importance.
“He has had a long political career spanning back to the 90s after he took over the political baton from his fearless father, the late Juma Boy as MP for Matuga in 1983,” Mr Ethuro said in his condolence message.
ODM secretary-general Agnes Zani said Mr Boy was a team player and one of the staunchest defenders of the Opposition.
“He was not the kind of person to sit on the fence. He was always in the middle of issues and he tackled issues with focus and diligence,” she said.
For her part, Senate Minority Deputy Chief Whip Janet Ong’era described him as her mentor.
“He taught me how to become a good whip. I have lost a great friend of mine in the Senate,” Ms Ong’era said.
Ms Ong’era added that besides being a charming and humorous lawmaker, Mr Boy was a committed and dedicated member of ODM.
Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetang’ula said the senator was a celebrated, loved and cherished member of the Cord/Nasa family.
“He was one of the most gifted, socially aware and politically insightful leaders in Kenya. One of the most powerful voices of his generation.
“He was a mentor to hundreds of people and a beloved brother to each of us,” Mr Wetang’ula said.
Mr Boy will be buried on Monday in Vanga, South Coast, according to family members.
Senators resume their sittings on Tuesday, ahead of the next General Election set for August 8.
Debate will be interrupted to mourn the death of Mr Boy, who will be best remembered for his captivating mastery of Swahili, which he never shied away from using, to the delight of his audience.